DjangoBooks.com

Laquer removal?

124

Comments

  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    Nitrocellulose is a clear finish and soon takes on a dirty look compared to shellac which may be clear or one or more of 6 colors but which develops a golden glow and an increasing fusion of colors and layers of colors. However I think your point wasn't around which finish looks better, but whether it is more ethical to wait 30 or 40 years.
  • badjazzbadjazz Maui, Hawaii USA✭✭✭ AJL
    Posts: 129
    here are two guitars:
    #1 is shellac from the the 1840's
    1840scfm13.jpg

    #2 is nitrocellulose lacquer from 1935
    0040h3.jpg

    to my eyes they look like they are aging similarly.
    Am I just not looking closely enough? What should I be seeing here to lead me to believe that one is aging very differently than the other?
    This is just in response to the statement that lacquer doesn't age well, the question of whether a person feels comfortable with altering the guitar to make it look older aside.

    The reason why I ask all these questions is not to be combative, just that I am considering having a (cheapo) guitar refinished to remove the polyurethane or whatever gunk finish that it came from the factory with. My friend and luthier is trying to talk me into shellac instead of lacquer, and I really want to know what the difference is. He seems to really want to do the shellac because he has not done a guitar that way yet and wants to try on a friend's (my) cheap guitar before messing up a real customer's. I am unconvinced, but he tells me that the shellac will give some aging magic to the guitar. But when I compare them side-by-side I don't see it.
  • ElliotElliot Madison, WisconsinNew
    Posts: 551
    There really isn't any way to compare from photos, but I'd say that the guitar under the nitro started off with a much more strident yellow base coat color which helps to smooth out the effects of the lacquer. That is mostly what we are looking at. Now Gypsy Jazz guitars - the older ones - go natural gray just like spruce does. I would bet that is why they used to use darker colors to cover the old Selmers, Favinos, and Busatos - with a paint varnish, like a violin. I don't really think that in the case you are considering the difference would be very noticeable and less important compared to which type scatches easier or melts if overexposed to the summer sun, or develops a 'bloom' when moist, to be honest. That is what you have to weigh against if you are considering a thinner coat made from insect spoot. :D

    The basic point of this being that one man's natural aging effect could very well be another's cosmetics and vice versa. This is the postmodern age after all...timelines are no longer as linear as they were before!
  • Posts: 56
    ok, to bring up the reply from badjazz;

    As a student, and not having enough dough my tastes say to me that experiment with your guitar and the various sounds harmonically it can produce. E.g. simply moving your hand/rest position it can produce totally different sounds for better or worse.
    OK,
    By removing a finish i was hoping for an older looking guitar, but the idea was to give me more ressonance, or a woody sound and i thought this could be acheived by sanding the guitar down, which i've done.
    But whether its wright or wrong that your fooling yourself and should let your guitar go through the natural ageing process is irrelevant, BUT only to me! I actually agree with BADJAZZ.
    It's like saying is it ok to buy a new pair of jeans, but you want them to LOOK old but have the benefits of a new pair and mentally you don't feel as bad actually wearing a new old looking pair. :? i hope the made sense.

    . If i knew i was going to live longer than normal i would leave it, and if i get to 90 and have artharitus, tendanitus (speling? :) )
    and no nails to play the guitar i'd kick my self in my foot if i still have one and should of experimented, its gonna age better or worse but i like to learn from my OWN mistakes not others.

    But by actually doing this adjustments on the guitar anyway i beleive this is the growth of the instruments, it will age differently now because of these things we choose to do, always an on going thing, its writing its own book already and i am probably wrong but if it can age, surely there is anti-ageing cream?
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    Lol! So maybe i missed something here? I don't actually regret stripping off the laquer from my guitar, it sounds more resonant to me and looks in my opinion better, what about you?
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    Ok so i thought i revisit this thread. I've applied some shellac (AKA French polish) to my Gitane DG250M, its given it a nice aged patina because i went for the slight orange version rather than the clear stuff. I like it. Its my second attempt at French polishing and clearly i've still got a lot to learn but its prooving to be a lot of fun.
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    Doh looks like i uploaded some wrong photos, the bass was my first attempt at Shellac, not 100% successful.
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • badjazzbadjazz Maui, Hawaii USA✭✭✭ AJL
    Posts: 129
    Looks great! Have you noticed a difference in the sound?
  • TenorClefTenorClef UKNew
    Posts: 150
    Thats a tough one to answer at this stage because i've just put on a set of 'chromes' and i think the Shellac needs time to harden. Next time i put a set of argentines on i'll be able to better judge it but with the 'chromes' it has a slightly less raspy edge to it. I found that using chromes work better with my Stimmer pickup but when playing acoustically i prefer the Argentines.
    Currently-Gitane 250M
    Previously-Gitane 255
    Previously- Gitane D500
  • BohemianBohemian State of Jefferson✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 303
    Sorry to interrupt the fun with some facts

    French Polish is not a material but a technique,you can french polish with varnish .. any formula you like

    However most French polishing is done with shellac

    For an online tutorial try this:

    http://www.milburnguitars.com/frenchpolish.html

    Stripping with sandpaper is laborious and... leaves rocks in your wood

    Sandpaper is rocks albeit small, they are rocks, teeny tiny rocks

    to strip finsih many use a cabinet scraper.. this takes skill but does not leave rocks in the wood

    I realize that many makers ( wood workers) use sandpaper..
    and understand using perhaps 400 grit or 600 or 1000 but
    anything less...hmmmm it's rocks
    rough woodworking such as furniture ( as compaerd to lutherie)
    I use 220 and 280 water then sand again ... that is for painted finishes for natural finishes.. cabinet scrapers...

    I have owned several guitars that were French polished and have french polished a few myself.. I respect others observations of increases in volume etc.. the degree claimed by others has not been my experience

    Also french polish is tender very tender and does not like any moisture of any kind including persperation, however it lends itself to repair

    I would submit that a thin coat of lacquer might give similar results

    There are also makers that french polish then shoot a thin coat of lacquer over the french polish to seal it

    there are many ways to get to the other side of the lake

    I started using renaissance wax in about 1974...great on clay stone
    painted works and previously finished wood but on bare wood in musical instruments... never...
Sign In or Register to comment.
Home  |  Forum  |  Blog  |  Contact  |  206-528-9873
The Premier Gypsy Jazz Marketplace
DjangoBooks.com
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
USD CAD GBP EUR AUD
Banner Adverts
Sell Your Guitar
© 2020 DjangoBooks.com, all rights reserved worldwide.
Software: Kryptronic eCommerce, Copyright 1999-2020 Kryptronic, Inc. Exec Time: 0.044969 Seconds Memory Usage: 3.450798 Megabytes
Kryptronic